(Tomato here, with a little side-note: due to (unbelievable) time constraints, I wasn’t able to make a new ScratchPad post this week. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to leave you guys hanging! With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this list of the top ten Looney Tunes shorts, pulled from the original, less awesome ScratchPad, a weekly animation column I used to do on my personal blog! See you next week, with a piping hot review!)
Ahh, the good old Looney Tunes. Originally created by Warner Brothers in the 30’s to showcase their vast musical library (hence why it’s spelled T-U-N-E-S, and not T-O-O-N-S.), the Looney Tunes grew into a large, ever-crafty cast of hooligans that’ve become a staple of animation ever since.
The ‘Tunes have been trudging through tough times lately, though. Because of a liscensing scuffle between Cartoon Network and its parent company, Time-Warner, the Looney Tunes shorts have not been seen on TV since, if memory serves, 2003.
And then, in 2009, Porky flew. For one day only, January 1st of 2009, the two parties agreed to open the floodgates and show the shorts in an all day marathon. I was a couch potato that day, eating, sleeping, and breathing Looniness. A lot of others were, too, because CN’s ratings went through the roof. You’d think this would be enough to persuade Time-Warner and CN to give Tunes a recurring slot on the schedule. You’d be wrong.
….until November 15th, ten months later, when Looney Tunes reclaimed its rightful place on the ‘tube with another big marathon, even netting its own afternoon slot on CN. We’ll see how long that lasts.
What’s that? I was supposed to do a top five list? I put it in the title? Well, then, be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting cartoons. That is to say, here’s a list of the top five Looney Tunes shorts!
(NOTE 1: I have not seen every Looney Tunes short ever. If I’m missing any notable ones, especially among you toonzone fanatics, it’s probably because I haven’t seen it. However, feel free to email me a list of any shorts I omitted that should be on here, or leave them in comments or on Twitter, and maybe I’ll make a part 2!)
(NOTE 2: Say you’ve never seen one of these shorts, but you want to really badly. Well, if you click on the word “here” next to them, it’ll take you to a video of the short.)
5. Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century (here)
As a sci-fi fan, I LOVE this short. It takes the concept of pulp-magazine-space-heroes like Buck Rodgers and Adam Strange, and completely takes a humor machete to it. It has no reservations with showing how over-the-top the whole genre can be sometimes, putting Daffy Duck in the title role of crass and cynical space captain Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig in tow as an Eager Young Space Cadet, as they search for the lost shaving cream atom on Planet X. Also, they may or may not run into a certain martian. Overall, an excellent parody of a genre I hold dear is enough to secure a spot at #5.
4. Rhapsody Rabbit (here)
Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.
I’ve never been a fan of classical music. It’s just never done it for me. Bugs Bunny taking out a revolver and shooting a guy for coughing in the middle of his piano piece, however, is hilarious. As covered before, Loony Tunes’ roots lie in its music. The magic comes when you blend the music with the slapstick to make something fantastic. And that’s why Rhapsody Rabbit crescendos all the way to number four.
3. Bugs and Thugs (here)
This is probably the dark horse of the bunch. I actually didn’t remember this one until watching it on the marathon the other day, the way I did with all the other shorts on this list. But, that doesn’t make Bugs and Thugs, a swaggering and smooth cartoon about Bugs two-timing a group of grungy gangsters. What’s great about it is the sheer volume of great gags in this cartoon. It’s not an ingenious concept, like, say, Duck Dodgers or the last two on the list, but the gags never miss a beat, and they’re short and snappy. That’s enough for Bugs and Thugs to whack its competition and trudge to #3.
2. One Froggy Evening (here)
This short is great, only because of a musical frog. The short doesn’t star any of the well-known Looney Tunes characters, instead apting for a singing frog fit for Broadway. If I recall correctly, this is the only short that Mr. Michigan J. Frog appears in, and yet he completely steals the show, conning an out of luck theather owner with a baratone barrage. This frog doesn’t need a kiss to turn into the prince of the #2 spot.
1. Duck Amuck (here)
Ahh, Duck Amuck. I fondly remember getting an old VHS tape, The Best of Daffy Duck, as a kid, and being just amazed with this short. It doesn’t really have a plot, as an unknown adversary messes with Daffy in the middle of his cartoon. The results are hilarious and memorable beyond belief. Every joke in this short is spot on and leaves me breathless with laughter. It’s still one of my grand barometers of writing, if I can only be half as good as this, I’ll be happy. I encourage you to click the link and feast your eyes on this comedic masterpiece.
And that concludes our look at the top five Looney Tunes shorts! I hope you enjoyed this (re)examination of some of the best animated icons ever, and I’ll be back with some new material next week!
If you enjoyed this post, or even hated it, there are a few things you can do to voice your opinion. First of all, click the “post a comment” button up above, and tell The Scratchpad your thoughts. Then, feel free to follow us on Twitter, by searching the hash-tag #thescratchpad. If you’re still hungry for more, you can click on the name of the author of this post below to see more posts by them.